Exercise can do a lot of things, but actually changing your genetics is not one of them. Even kickboxing, for all its benefits, can't make you grow taller. Your height is 60 to 85 percent determined by your genetics, and reaching the rest of your growth potential comes from good nutrition. Kickboxing, basketball or weight-lifting exercises do not have a measurable impact on your ability to grow taller.
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However, kickboxing can help improve your posture and confidence, making you appear taller and more imposing. Try these standard exercises to strengthen the muscles of your core and legs so you look the tallest possible.
Many forms of kickboxing exist — including heart-pumping choreographed fitness classes — and most workouts emphasize developing power, balance and agility. Usually, kickboxing workouts involve short bouts of intense, repeated movements, such as kicking a bag or throwing punches against a pad. You do a round for 2 to 3 minutes, and then rest briefly before hitting another drill.
This style of workout is essentially high-intensity interval training, or HIIT, which has been shown to improve your fat-burning capacities, as well as your cardiovascular fitness. In this way, kickboxing can be a great tool in weight loss, which can make you look longer and leaner — even taller when you stand with confidence.
Read more: Why is Kickboxing a Good Workout?
Strengthen Your Core
One of the most effective ways to boost posture is to train the muscles of the core, including your abs and spinal muscles. When you naturally engage your core, you stand taller and look stronger. Many of the kicks and punches in kickboxing use the core as the point of power.
Engaging your core while you throw punches improves your stability and protects you from an attacker. The action of drawing your belly in and slightly hollowing your chest tones your abs and trains you to keep them engaged, even when you're just walking around during the day. When your abs are engaged, your torso is straighter and longer — giving you the appearance of height.
HOW TO DO IT: Start with your right foot forward and left foot slightly back; soften your knees and hips so you can bounce easily. Place your bent elbows against your ribs and fists close to your face. Punch forward with your right arm, and then diagonally across your body with your left arm. Be careful not to fully extend your elbow — keep the joint slightly soft to absorb the "impact" of your opponent or punching bag. Pick up speed and do the combo 30 to 60 seconds, then switch so the left arm jabs front and the right cross jabs.
When you strike with an upper cut, you use the power of your core to add oomph to the punch. Practice throwing these powerful punches as part of your routine.
HOW TO DO IT: Stand with your fee hip-distance apart and bend the knees slightly. Bend your elbows and place them against your ribs, hands in fists. Draw your right arm down toward your hips and punch upward as if you were targeting an opponent's chin. Repeat swiftly with the left arm. Repeat for 30 to 60 seconds at a time, alternating arms.
Knee Strike/Back Kick
Combining a knee strike with a back kick builds your core as you transfer weight from leg to leg to maintain balance.
HOW TO DO IT: Protect your face with your elbows bent and fists in front of your face. Stand with your feet hip-distance apart. Transfer your weight to your left leg as you lift your left knee to your chest and crunch slightly through your torso. Immediately put your right foot down and lift your back leg, kicking it as if to strike with the heel of your foot. Alternate right knee and left back kick 30 to 60 seconds; change to left knee, right back kick for an equal amount of time. Keep your hands protecting your face the entire time.
Read more: Benefits of Cardio Kickboxing